Domestic Battery Criminal Charges
Domestic Violence Overview
Domestic Battery is defined extremely broad, it includes any contact done in a "rude, angry or insulting" manner. It doesn't matter whether someone is hurt, all that matters is whether the contact was committed in a "rude, angry or insulting" manner.
- For example: Splashing a household member with water, or throwing a toilet paper roll at them could be Domestic Battery.
A "Domestic Violence offense," is any crime committed against a family, household member, significant other or ex.
- For example: Forging your ex’s check is a Domestic Violence offense.
Domestic Battery Defenses
Since Domestic Battery is defined so broadly, with complete disregard for whether any harm was actually caused, we’re left with 3 defenses:
- Self-defense – essentially, “they were attacking me” or “they were about to attack me” and “I used a reasonable amount of force to prevent/stop the attack.” Keep in mind the level of force must be “reasonable.”
- Not “criminal” contact – here, the argument is that “yes, physical contact was made, but it was not intended as ‘rude, angry, or insulting.” Or perhaps the contact was accidental.
- No contact was made - here, we’re arguing that no contact was made and the “victim” is lying.
Domestic Violence Penalties
The most significant and long-lasting penalty is that if you’re convicted of a Domestic Violence offense, you are prohibited from owning a firearm under federal law. Even though the conviction may be a misdemeanor, the “Domestic Violence” tag creates a ban on owning firearms.
Domestic Battery is a battery is a misdemeanor if it’s a first offense, or second offense within the last 5 years.
Domestic Battery is a felony if
- it’s the third offense within 5-years, or
- involved strangulation, or
- resulted in substantial injuries.
For a first offense of domestic battery, the court may impose a sentence of:
- 48 hours (minimum) to 6 months (maximum) in jail. A fine of $200 -$500. (a combination of jail and probation is possible)
- In lieu of the mandatory 48 hours and fine, sentence the offender to probation with “Batterers Intervention Program.”
For a second offense of domestic battery, the court may impose a sentence of:
- 3 – 12 months in jail or as a “backup sentence” and/or
- Mandatory 5- days in jail followed by probation. Which can be served as 2 days in jail followed by 3 days of work release.
- $500- $1,000 fine
For a third offense of domestic battery (felony), the court may impose a sentence of:
- 3 – 12 months in jail or as a “backup sentence” and/or
- Mandatory 90-days in jail followed by probation. This 90-days can be served as 2 days in jail followed by 88-days of work release.
For a “strangulation domestic battery, the court can impose a sentence of:
- 11 – 34 months in prison or as a “backup sentence” (depending on criminal history)
- If given probation, up to 60 days of jail time.
The law defines "domestic violence" as
An act or acts of violence or threatened act of violence or any crime or violation committed against a person or against property directed toward:
- a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship;
- a family or household member by a family or household member.
A threatened act of violence can have a very wide range of meanings. One example of many would be if you were to get into an argument with your spouse and threw a Q-tip at them angrily, this could actually be Domestic Violence.
- Persons 18 years of age or older who are
- Spouses and former spouses
- Parents or stepparents
- Children or stepchildren
- Persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or who have lived together at any time
Dating relationship defined by law is a social relationship of a romantic nature.
Factors that decide if a dating relationship exist can include:
- nature of the relationship;
- length of time the relationship existed;
- frequency of interaction between the parties; and,
- amount of time since termination of the relationship, if applicable.
determining a domestic battery convictionfirst, second, third or subsequent conviction
- being convicted of a violation of K.S.A. 21-3412a, prior to its repeal, this section or entering into a diversion or deferred judgment agreement in lieu of further criminal proceedings on a complaint alleging a violation of this section
- being convicted of a violation of a law of another state, or an ordinance of any city, or resolution of any county, which prohibits the acts that this section prohibits or entering into a diversion or deferred judgment agreement in lieu of further criminal proceedings in a case alleging a violation of such law, ordinance or resolution;
First Offense - Class B Misdemeanor
Second Offense - Class A Misdemeanor (within 5 years of first offense)
if, within five years immediately of the first offense, an offender is convicted of domestic battery again he/she will be sentenced no less than 90 days but not more than one year of jail time. He/She will be fined a minimum of $500 but no more than $1,000. The offender shall serve at least five consecutive days imprisonment before the offender is granted probation, suspension or reduction of sentence or parole or is otherwise released. The 5 days imprisonment may be served through a work release program that requires he/she to return to confinement at the end of each day in the program.
As a condition of any grant of probation, suspension of sentence or parole or of any other release, the offender shall be required to undergo a domestic violence offender assessment conducted by a certified batterer intervention program and follow all recommendations made by such program, unless otherwise ordered by the court or department of corrections.
Third or More Offense - Felony (within 5 years of second offense)
The offender shall be sentenced to a minimum 90 days but no more than one year's imprisonment and fined a minimum $1,000 but not more than $7,500. The offender shall be required to undergo a domestic violence offender assessment conducted by a certified batterer intervention program and follow all recommendations made by such program, unless otherwise ordered by the court or department of corrections.
The 90 days jail time may be served through a work release program but the offender is required to return to confinement at the end of each day of the program. The offender may only enter the work release program after 48 consecutive hours of jail time.
If the offender does not attend a domestic violence offender assessment conducted by a certified batterer intervention program or fails to follow all recommendations made by such program, the offender shall serve not less than 180 days nor more than one year's imprisonment.